Hi! I haven’t posted a review that wasn’t for a tour in a hot minute. I read My Name is Monster at the start of the month and it was an experience, so here’s a short and sweet review.
- Publication date: June 6th 2019
- Publisher: Canongate Books
- Genre: Dystopian fiction
After the Sickness has killed off her parents, and the bombs have fallen on the last safe cities, Monster emerges from the Arctic vault which has kept her alive. When she washes up on the coast of Scotland, everyone she knows is dead, and she believes she is alone in an empty world. Monster begins the long walk south, scavenging and learning the contours of this familiar land made new. Slowly, piece by piece, she begins to rebuild a life. Until, one day, she finds a girl: another survivor, feral, and ready to be taught all that Monster knows. But the lessons the girl learns are not always those Monster means to teach . . . Inspired by Robinson Crusoe and Frankenstein, My Name Is Monster is a novel about power, about the things that society leaves imprinted on us when the rules no longer apply, and about the strength and the danger of a mother’s love
I picked up My Name is Monster on a whim. I didn’t know what it was about other than it was a dystopian, post apocalyptic novel about a girl called Monster. Honestly, I think that sums it up and I’m not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing.
My Name is Monster was a strange read. Told from a perspective of what it seems like the only human alive in the United Kingdom, in both present time and through flashbacks, it’s a story about survival, loneliness and what it means to be human.
Monster has always been a tad bit strange and a recluse and she’s the one who tells us that about herself. We get glimpses of her past through the stories she recalls herself while travelling the country trying to find food and shelter. We learn about her family life, about her time in school and of how she’s always kept to herself. There isn’t much more to her personality than that, and I don’t think it matters until halfway through the book when the POV changes.
I thought a survival story would be more exciting, but I would describe the book as pretty much plotless. Well, of course it has a plot, things are happening, it’s just not very plot driven, but slow and meandering. It focuses more on the characters, their feelings and how they perceive the now desolate world. There are a lot of topics which this book explores in a very subtle yet effective way. I am being vague because I don’t want to spoil the book in any way.
I would call My Name is Monster an acquired taste when it comes to books. If you like action heavy books, it’s not for you. If you like straightforward books, it’s also not for you. It’s a book that takes a simple and somewhat overdone concept and instead of going the obvious route, it decides to explore the ideas in a different way and bring different things to attention. Overall I think I enjoyed it, although it wasn’t a favourite read or a very profound one.
Thanks for reading. Again, apologies if it doesn’t look like my regular posts, I’m still learning how to use the phone app editor.